Sunday, October 10, 2010

1,000th Anniversary of Hanoi

Congratulations Hanoi on turning 1,000!

For the last ten days, the city has been in celebration mode. However, in this bloggers opinion, ten days of joy isn't worth the ten months of annoying preparation that have gone into it. Hundreds of days of polluted, dusty air due to construction projects isn't justified by ten days of streets being lined by flower pots. But that's just me.

My favorite things so far about the 1,000th anniversary have been:
1. The Giant TV screens randomly set up around the city which nobody seems to be watching.
2. The 1,000 doves that were released at the opening ceremonies. For the first time ever there are actually birds flying around the city. Coincidentally, I seem to be seeing more bird-noodle dishes recently.
3. The volunteer students who are directing police sit on the sidewalk chatting on their phones
4. That some of my students at national universities were given major tests this week which means they have to stay home and study.
5. That blogspot has been blocked for two week in Hanoi. In order to write on my blog or to be able to read my friends' blogs, I've had to sign in through a server in another country.

Those are the first five that come to mind. It seems that nobody here actually cares about the anniversary except for the government which has gone all-out in promoting it. Regardless, 1,000 years is a pretty big milestone. So, Congrats Hanoi! Hopefully the next 1,000 years bring you less war, cleaner air and more freedom.